donnelly drove a grey hatchback with no bottom, all the creatures of the tarmac rose to sing to him

Exams are over and the sun is high and bright. Blockmates go to and fro indoors and out, underdressed and sometimes lobster-pink. The weather is lovely, for reading books in the shade or cycling up and down the canal. Except that I got another puncture (in the front wheel this time). So I walked, slowly, up the canal; the gates on the northern side of the Bristol Road are (again) shut, with all the heavy machinery and earthmovers that have been working thereabouts moved to the other side of the canal, but there’s another ramp Selly-side that makes the journey only a hundred metres longer and an extra road crossing more complicated. A good trip; one month into the year-long service plan I got at Halfords, it is one minor malfunction away from paying for itself, and I am now assured of a canal ride back for the next few Sainsbury’s journeys I make from TC, not that there will be many.

According to the grapevine, exam results are supposed to come out on the 18th of June; this is fine, as there is an airpower day school on the 19th that I’m staying to visit (Hovercraft will join me.) After which… My contract for next year’s house, I believe, comes into force on July 1st (so I’ll be paying rent from there; fortunately I’m much less insolvent than I thought I was.) My stay at TC ends on the eighth, I think (must check with Siz and arrange Moving Plans, but I intend to bring most of my stuff home anyway as I’ll be using it over the holidays).

The counselling Dr Basra recommended seems not to be the way. The nice learning support lady I talked to farmed most of my specific academic worries off either to my subject tutors (who I haven’t got so much out of) or to promising-sounding workshops on revision and procrastination LS are running next year.
Then a long list of questions about my general state of composure. How do you get on with the people you live with? Good, none I’m terribly close friends with but no fights either. Diet? Not bad. Exercise? Not bad. Self-harm, suicidal thoughts? No. Good relationship with family? Yeah, I think so. Anyone you’re particularly close to? All about the same, I think. Outside your family? Not in this city, not really, just a couple of good friends. Joined societies to meet people, but none of them grabbed my interest enough to keep visiting. What do you think counselling would help you with? I have no idea. I don’t know anything about counselling. I don’t know many people in this city, I don’t do much with my time, and I don’t really care enough about any of that enough to want to change it. I’m not miserable, but I’m not particularly happy, because I don’t really see the point in any of it, or see where I fit into life or see that I have a happy future. Something I could properly care about, some sort of proper direction, or just tell me what to do; that would be just fine, you know? Anything you can do about that? Not really.


As one of lots of things I’ve been Meaning To Do and now have the time and freedom to, I played Dear Esther. It’s hard to describe what it is exactly – a ghost story with FPS controls? A shooter with no weapons, no items, and no enemies? An audiovisual tour of a dying dream? Whatever it is, it’s amazing, and highly recommended, even to people who aren’t normally into the vidjagaems. Go and download and play it if you own anything that runs on Source (argh, you’ve missed the free Portal offer, damn shame.)


3 thoughts on “donnelly drove a grey hatchback with no bottom, all the creatures of the tarmac rose to sing to him

  1. I’m sorry the counseling didn’t work out–sounds like you didn’t get a particularly good one, which sucks.

    However, way to go on finishing all of your exams. Enjoy freedom–I’m still flailing around the academic marsh for the next two and a half weeks.

  2. Good counselors are really hard to find, and even supposing you one they don’t have any answers anyway.

    I am intrigued by Dear Esther. What is this “Source” that I need to play it?

    1. Source is a game engine used by Valve for their official games, and a tonne of modders besides. If you own Half-Life 2 (and it’s cheap and great, there’s no real reason not to) you should be able to play Dear Esther; it might also be playable if you own another game that runs on Source (CSS, Portal, TF2, L4D/2) but I’m not certain. I own every game Valve ever made, so I can’t really be sure :(

      Get HL2 and Steam anyway, it opens up an amazing number of free mods. Once you have it installed, Dear Esther can be downloaded here.

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